MKU Rotaract Club’s active hand in charity, has seen many beat life’s challenges and feel the warmth of neighbourliness
In previous days, it took the church authority to convene a harambee to either clear a hospital bill or a derailing fee balance of an underprivileged child. Most children believed that it was the responsibility of their parents to respond to such calls and this gave them a sense of vindication for not turning up for the harambee. Things have however changed, and masses are putting up whacking amounts of money through mobile phone contribution for people they may not even relate to. Not by blood, acquaintance or familiarity but just by the simple virtue of hearing the story online and letting sympathy work its way.Rotaract Club is one such forum through which students of Mount Kenya University take part in works of charity.
Rotaract club, an affiliate of the Rotary club, is a well fledged organization present in some institutions through which students contribute to humanitarian activities. Whenever they converge, the agenda is meeting the need of a desperate person. The MKU Rotaract Club has been active for several years and the many tales of triumph they have in their archives gives them strength to plot more missions to support a needy person. They may not have the means to promise an upfront help, but through commitment to act as a bridge between the troubled person and the outside community, they have been able to bring high mountains low. “We create awareness of our projects through social media in most cases. We also have several activities through which we make contribution easy and these activities help us raise the targeted amounts,” says Lucy Kabute, the Rotaract club patron.
Among the activities they carry out is coin collection. “Whenever we have a project to support someone, we engage in coin collection. This entails sharing tins, whereby each member is given a tin on which to collect coins and we all disperse to different allocations where we invite students to input coins of whatever amount they have.” Later in the evening, these tins are all collected and the coins counted to determine the amount of money that was collected.
Another way in which these students collect funds is through fines during meetings. Their meetings are structured in such a way that encourages contribution of low amounts of money from members, on a regular basis. These small contributions go a long way in achieving their goals.
In cases where the project underway is way beyond the students’ ability, they approach the Thika Rotary Club for support. Alternatively, they approach the CDF office. “Raising funds is not easy and sometimes we make an effort to work with CDF officials from Thika West Sub-county,” says Joyce Warugu the previous president of the club.
Rotaract Club works with various other charity groups such as the Chapati Forum, which is an outreach group that assembles like-minded peopleto advance charity work. “Whenever the Chapati Forum has a project, they notify us and we work together to raise the required funds. We also collaborate with the Thika Rotary Club in projects,” adds Ms Kabute.
Beneficiaries of the club
Among the beneficiaries of this group are fellow school mates faced with certain challenges such as hospitalised parents or even the students themselves. The club also extends help to younger pupils in other institutions and continuously arrange contributions that help them in their need. One of the ongoing project is raising school fees for Peter Muendo, a form three student at Kairi High School. “I met The Rotaract Club back in 2013 while in Standard Seven at General Kago Primary School. They had come to give us a talk and promised us that they would sponsor those who do well in KCPE for the secondary education,” explains Muendo. On acquiring 328 marks in KCPE, Muendo was lucky enough to be selected among the many pupils of his school for sponsorship. The Rotaract Club has been paying his school fees, and catering for his school needs since Form One. As his class teacher attests, Muendo is a flagship for this group due to his promising academic performance. “Muendo is one of the best students in my class, he scores between B+ and A- and this is very encouraging considering his background,” says Ms Susan Munyi, his class teacher. The school administration is also alive to his leadership abilities, hence choosing him as the school deputy president. He aspires to study mechatronics at the University of Nairobi after clearing high school.
This is one of the many students this club has been supporting. Apart from financial support, the group also focuses on mentoring the young children from the less privileged backgrounds. They recently visited General Kago Primary School to donate under-garments and sanitary towels to pupils of classes seven and eight. In addition to this donation, they gave them talks on hygiene and personal glooming.
Their weekends are always occupied with events including medical camps and other community outreach activities such as distributing food and clothing to street families in Thika town.
As Waruguru advises, joining such clubs for university students is a worthwhile choice because it not only gives one opportunities to serve the society, but also keeps one occupied constructively while building their character positively.